The government of Pakistan has officially given the nod for its national cricket team’s participation in the ICC World Cup 2023, set to happen in India this October.
Stance on Politics and Sports
The Foreign Office, through a statement on Sunday, reinforced Pakistan’s stance that sports and politics should not intermix, hence the decision to let their cricket team compete in the upcoming international event. Despite the state of bilateral relations with India, Pakistan emphasizes that these should not deter the fulfilment of its international sports-related commitments. This decision reflects Pakistan’s constructive and responsible approach compared to India’s refusal to send its team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup.
Concerns About Team Security
Nonetheless, the government raised strong apprehensions about the safety of its cricket team. The Foreign Office communicated these concerns to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Indian authorities, expressing the expectation for the complete safety and security of the Pakistan Cricket Team during their visit to India.
This decision follows recent discussions by a committee formed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, which contemplated sending a delegation to review security measures. The committee, led by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, reached a consensus on obtaining a security guarantee from India before the team departed. The committee plans to negotiate with India and the ICC about sending a security delegation, potentially visiting India in the last week of August.
Pakistan’s Schedule for ICC World Cup 2023:
October 6 — vs Netherlands in Hyderabad
October 12 — vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad
October 15 — vs India in Ahmedabad
October 20 — vs Australia in Bengaluru
October 23 — vs Afghanistan in Chennai
October 27 — vs South Africa in Chennai
October 31 — vs Bangladesh in Kolkata
November 4 — vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)
November 12 — vs England in Kolkata